In July I always think red, white and bluey! The American in me comes out. I’m lucky enough now to appreciate and sometimes celebrate both Aussie holidays and American ones, so why not right?
The concept of Independence is pretty awesome – at first.
When we’re young being dependent is king. Leaning on your parents for everything, having it all done for you is great! You enter the teenage years, and all you want to do is break free. Then you enter a relationship, and co-dependency creeps into your life before you know it.
You may resist it, but the truth is it happens.
When I suddenly became Independent again after 20 years of marriage, I wasn’t ready. I liked being married, having a husband, and leaning on each other.
But that’s not the path life had planned for me… Shit! I kept thinking I’ve done this before, I’ll be ok. But I wasn’t.
Never realising how much he did it rocked my world. I LIKED him doing the finances. I LIKED him fixing things. I LIKED having someone to go to parties with. To love.
Suddenly independence wasn’t so cool. Man, it hurts.
Is this loneliness? I tried to use logic to see that now I could do and say whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Had I done this before right? Wrong.
Once you have experienced that sharing, that togetherness and co-dependence it’s harder than when you first break free as a young adult. Being alone with your heart ripped out is a wee bit different….
I slowly began the recovery process by telling myself I could in fact do the things he had done. I had grown to believe U could not.
Yes, I can manage finances. Do I like it? Not a lot. But can I DO IT? Yes.
Yes, I can build stuff. Does it take me an hour longer than it should? Yes. But can I DO IT? Yes. Do I love it? No, but who cares?
And the list goes on.
Part of learning to be on your own is realising that just because you don’t LIKE something doesn’t mean you can’t DO IT.
And, I dare say, nowadays when I deal with these things the satisfaction is very fulfilling. Overcoming that obstacle is even more rewarding than the act of building that shelf or tackling that spreadsheet.
I taught myself to use both sides of my brain, the hard way. I call it Whole Brain Thinking. The act of using logic and creativity and knowing you can do both, despite your strengths and weaknesses.
When I hear people talk about resilience building, I can’t help but think, this is how it happens. You can’t teach this stuff. I feel like a reformed smoker, almost evangelistic about it because I KNOW it’s true. You learn by doing.
After years of heartache, trying to work it out again, feeling sad, angry, and frustrated by my new situation I now say thank you to adversity. I would not go back to that person who threw her hands in the air saying, ‘it’s too hard you do it’.
July has a special meaning for me now as I endeavour to share this with other people, to show them that they too CAN DO IT. Being alone after a relationship doesn’t mean you’re done, it means the new possibilities are endless.